Preying Manti Headed to Nationals

Jacob Zuckerman

The Preying Manti secured their seed in the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee NCAA Championships last weekend after a 10­–8 victory over Swarthmore College.  It’s the team’s first trip to Nationals since 2008, and the Manti currently maintain a tentative seventh seed, pending official seeding methods.

“We wouldn’t be here without every single member of this team, A or B, pushing each other and wanting it,” said senior captain Marge Rosano.

The team had a hard fight coming in on top at its sectional tournament. “We knew coming in that we had a target on our backs as the first seed,” said senior captain Kayla Emrick. Whether there was a target or not, it didn’t stop the team from beating the Oberlin B-team 11–2, The College of Wooster 10–2, Denison University 13–2, Kenyon College 13–1, Ohio Wesleyan University 13–4, Ohio Northern University 13–1 and Wooster again in the championship game 13­–3.

With the top two teams from each sectional receiving a bid into Regionals, both Oberlin and Wooster advanced into the regional tournament for a chance to play at Nationals.

At the sectional tournament, Oberlin came in as the number-two seed, which Emrick called a “load off.” The Preying Manti defeated Lehigh University 15–5, Philadelphia University 13–7, Wooster 15–0, Haverford College 15–6 and Messiah College 15–5. In a dramatic Nationals-clinching final, the Yeowomen trumped Swarthmore 10–8.

Both captains referred to the Swarthmore game as the most dramatic game of their careers. Oberlin had to win to clinch Nationals, while Swarthmore was only playing for pride, having already lost their Nationals slot. The two teams traded points early, until the Preying Manti pulled ahead and wore down the game to its time cap, as opposed to the more common scoring cap.

Rosano had only moments before the field was rushed by her teammates, celebrating their win and upcoming trip to “natties.”

“I’m extremely proud of our A-team,” said B-team player first-year Anna Droege. “They’ve worked hard all season; they deserve this.”

“Despite the A/B team split, we’re still very much one team. The B-team is always there to cheer us on and be there for us. We’re all about teaminess,” said first-year Sarah Goldstone.

After a long season of winning the all-Ohio tournament in the fall, along with strong showings at the Music City Mashup and Keystone Classic, the team finalized its rosters, learned to play with one another, and got used to the two-team setup, a first for the program.

The Manti are more than ready to take on Nationals. “We are ready to show the nation what Oberlin College can do,” said Rosano.